1.18 {BookFlix Friday} Focus on Non-Fiction II

Today is

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Time for some more NF [non-fiction] book trailers… or NF book-related videos. We read NF to find out about the fascinating world and people around us.

First, I’d like to highlight this trailer that one of my students, Amanda A., made for The Diary of a Young Girl.

Book Description

Release date: June 1, 1993
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic — a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

§ § §

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2009 
“Knucklehead is an absolute scream, detailing the misadventures of Jon Scieszka and his five brothers growing up together. There are horrible Halloween costumes, broken bones, unbelievable nicknames, pee fights, weird Cub Scout rules, socks for birthday presents, and that’s just the beginning.”
— Sarah Todd, Children’s Book World, Haverford, PA

How did Jon Scieszka get so funny, anyway? Growing up as one of six brothers was a good start, but that was just the beginning. Throw in Catholic school, lots of comic books, lazy summers at the lake with time to kill, babysitting misadventures, TV shows, jokes told at family dinner, and the result is Knucklehead. Part memoir, part scrapbook, this hilarious trip down memory lane provides a unique glimpse into the formation of a creative mind and a free spirit.

§ § §

Over the course of history men and women have lived and died. In fact, getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess-especially before the modern medical care that we all enjoy today. How They Croaked relays all the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost. For example:

It is believed that Henry VIII’s remains exploded within his coffin while lying in state.
Doctors “treated” George Washington by draining almost 80 ounces of blood before he finally kicked the bucket.
Right before Beethoven wrote his last notes, doctors drilled a hole in his stomach without any pain medication.
Readers will be interested well past the final curtain, and feel lucky to live in a world with painkillers, X-rays, soap, and 911.

§     §     §

Today in class I’ll be sharing:

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech.


About the Illustrator

KADIR NELSON is the acclaimed illustrator of Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom and Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, both Caldecott Honor books. His other titles includeWe Are the Ship, a Robert F. Sibert Medal winner and Coretta Scott King Award recipient, and Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans.

BONUS VIDEO: The best-known part of the speech–

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